Show Report: BOOT 2019
Coverage of Day 3
Wetpixel’s third and final day at the 2019 BOOT show was a rushed day trying to catch up with all the people and things that I should have done on the preceding 2 days!
The Nauticam team is now complete, with the arrival of Edward Lai and Phoebe Lu. Edward kindly took some time to chat about his projects and to show me some stunning images that he captures using a prototype of the new Panasonic LUMIX S full frame mirrorless camera in the Galapagos. He described how he had to swim out into the strong current to get images of schooling hammerheads. Edward used the Wide Angle Corrector Port with the camera, and despite low light was able to achieve excellent corner sharpness. We also chatted about his design for the endoscopic lens. He is considering making the design modular, with the possibility of adding different length sections and even lens elements. I think the key take away is that the prototype that has been seen around the shows is very much an example of a work in progress. The finished design will be wet mountable though, and he discussed designing a flip bracket for it so that you could switch from endoscopic CFWA to super macro on one dive!
I then met with Kit Chung, Pernilla Sjöö and Harry Collister over on the Solitude stand. Solitude has expanded with resorts in Lembeh and Anilao, along with their liveaboards, Solitude One and Adventurer.
The Solitude Acacia resort in Anilao is closed for remodelling but plans to be open again in quarter 4 this year.
I also met briefly with Oscar Tong of the light manufacturer Bible. Wetpixel is planning a round-up of focus lights that are available in the market and Oscar has kindly agreed to help by providing information about his models.
There are quite a few consumer drones, and ROV products reaching the market and iBubble were exhibiting their autonomous diving drone. This is shipping now, with the first units going out as I write.
It is available in some options and can be controlled either via a through water acoustic controller (which can be used underwater) and makes the unit autonomous or free swimming or via a tether from the surface. In the case of the latter, this is either a 60 m or 100 m version. It has 7 thrusters, which can power it at up to 3 knots and has built-in collision avoidance capabilities. Battery life is about one hour.
The drones ship with a mounting bracket for action cams.
Olympus has a stand, and I wandered over to see if they have the new OM-D E-M1X camera. Sadly, I was a day early! They are planning to have one on the stand on Saturday.
During the show, equipment manufacturer Scubapro sell sunglasses on their booth. The monies that they receive for this is then donated to two projects: SOS Sea Turtles and Shark Project. The former is run by Kurt Amsler, and it primarily relocates turtle nests in areas that have sea levels that are rising due to climate change.
Scubapro presented both organisations on the main stage of the show:
I had been trying to catch up with Harald Hordosch on Seacam’s booth every day! He is a busy man. I was finally able to spend some time with him and chat through some of the company’s plans. It looks like we should expect a new strobe model soon and as soon as there are more details, Harald has promised that Wetpixel will be the first to know!
Harald’s daughter, Esther Boemer is working for the company, and she kindly took some time to run through the new housings that Seacam has released. Seacam China ambassador Ace Wu was also on hand.
Firstly there is the Seacam Silver housing for the Canon 5D Mk IV:
Seacam is also shipping a housing for the Sony a7r III/a7 III. This is a compact, small housing. Ace mentioned that he has found it useful for macro as it allowed him to shoot in a situation which a bigger housing could not access.
Inon’s Takuya Torii arrived today and despite his flight being delayed, was able to run through some new products with me.
They have announced a range of quick release mounting brackets suitable for attaching strobes or lights. These can be easily detached underwater, to reposition or to use the device off camera.
There are two version for use with Inon’s LE and LF lights:
These then attach into a YS mount adaptor:
There is also a version that attaches directly onto Inon strobes called the Quick Holder Z:
The Quick Base M6W combines an M6 mounting with two Quick Mounts. This could be used to mount strobe and light combinations, or action camera and lights. It offers a YS mount.
In addition, there is a new YS extension bar that adds extra length and articulation to a YS mounted accessory:
Takuya and I also looked at Inon’s new housing for the Panasonic GX9.
That is a wrap for Wetpixel at BOOT 2019. Heartfelt thanks to all the exhibitors who kindle made time during a busy show to assist me with the coverage. I look forward to BOOT 2020!
- Day 1 Coverage.
- Day 2 Coverage.
- Day 3 Coverage.